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Groundbreaking Chase Bank Lawsuit Verdict Could See NY Federal Judge Rule ‘Crypto is Cash’

Samantha Chang
JP Morgan Chase and Company CEO Jamie Dimon has been a high-profile critic and naysayer of cryptocurrencies, in particular, bitcoin. | Source: REUTERS/Larry Downing

By CCN.com: A Manhattan federal judge will have to decide whether crypto is cash in what would be a landmark decision for the budding industry. The ruling would have major implications for what laws and regulations cryptocurrencies are subject to.

Chase Bank — the consumer and commercial banking subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase — says crypto is just like cash because it’s a medium of exchange. The only difference is that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are digital, Chase says.

Meanwhile, a group of customers that are suing Chase over fees it charged on crypto purchases contend that cryptocurrencies are goods — not cash.

Chase slapped surprise fees on crypto purchases

Chase Bank made the “crypto-is-cash” argument in a motion to dismiss a nationwide class action lawsuit filed against it last year, according to Westlaw Practitioner Insights.

In April 2018, Chase customers sued the bank. The plaintiffs accused Chase of charging surprise fees after it abruptly stopped letting customers buy crypto with credit cards and began treating them as cash advances.

To make matters worse, Chase Bank refused to refund the extra fees it had charged after customers complained.

The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, Brady Tucker, says Chase charged him $143.30 in fees and $20.61 in surprise interest charges for five crypto transactions he did between January and February 2018. After he called to dispute the charges, Chase refused to refund the money.

Read the full story on CCN.com.